"Jane the Virgin" is ready for our attention

One of the happier storieas from the first half of the TV season is the emergence of "Jane the Virgin" as a smart, funny. All it needs now is an audience. The show returns Monday (Jan. 19) form a month of reruns; here's the story I sent to papers:


first, “Jane the Virgin” descended into anonymity – the sort of
dark depths only a CW show can see.

Surviving the spotlight at 15; Megan and Mary have been there

When "Anne of Green Gables" arrived, teen-aged Megan Follows was startlingly good. More startling was the way she often avoided big-time films and TV afterward, instead doing Shakespeare and Ibsen and such.

Now -- 30 years after being cast as Anne -- she's back on TV in "Reign," which starts Thursday (Oct. 17). I have mixed feelings about the show, but not about Follows. Here's the story I sent to papers:

"Carrie Diaries": There was fun before sex (and before the city)

Let's forgive 1984 for trickle-down economics, cocaine, "Hawaiian Heat," "Partners in Crime," lingering disco music and "Finder of Lost Loves." It was still a time for optimism; and CW's "The Carrie Diaries" is an entertaining show.

"Diaries" introduces Carrie Bradshaw in '84, when she was merely dreaming of sex and the city. The second episode (rerunning at 9 p.m. Friday, Jan.25) and the third (8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28, rerunning that Friday) are flawed but fun. Here's the story I sent to papers:

CW network detours yet again

Any visit to the CW network  brings mixed feeling. This has been the network of slick, sleek shows for young adults; it's also been the network of "H8R," clearly the low moment for television in this millennium.

Now CW offers some interesting switches and detours. Here's the story I sent to papers:


LOS ANGELES – After six years of
dodging the big guys, the CW network still keeps switching direction.

CW schedule has hints of the WB glory days

Television lost a lot of flash and fun, when the energetic WB network merged with the blander UPN. The result -- CW -- has had its good moments, but not enough of them.Meanwhile, bits of the old days linger at

Now I was glad to see hints of the WB legacy on CW's new schedule for this fall. Here's the story I sent to papers this morning:


Five years after the death of the WB
network, there will still be shadows of it this fall.

Fitness trainers? TV can find them up North

Growing up in Wisconsin, I probably should have become a fitness trainer. Then again, I probably should have become fit.

Being a trainer is one quick route to reality TV. Here's a story I sent to papers:


Reality TV has special needs these

It needs cooks and designers and anyone
with a tattoo. And it especially needs fitness trainers.

Fall TV line-up: Now it's complete

Now the fall TV picture is complete.

The last to announce was tiny CW. Here's the story I sent to paper this morning; for the other networks, please check my earlier blogs this week: